Although Pennington has only been stopped once in 22 pro and amateur fights, Nunes' home-soil advantage could be crucial.
The 38-year-old Souza is nearing the last-chance saloon if he is to achieve his dream of being crowned UFC champion, but as the No.2 contender now, a victory here could re-insert him back into the conversation.
Nunes remains a prohibitive favourite, and rightly so considering only once has she gone the full five rounds - against Valentina Shevchenko in September of a year ago. Kelvin Gastelum takes on a crowd favorite, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, whose nickname means "the Alligator". She's only gone the distance in fights against Shevchenko in the UFC and lost her only other fight that made it out of the first round. Gastelum, 26, comes off a first-round knockout of former champion Michael Bisping last November. As Mike Bohn of MMAjunkie notest the five fighters who have fought after missing weight this year are 5-0, but it does demonstrate that Dern's work ethic might not be that of a future superstar in this sport. Dias will be in attendance.
Storyline: Two of the biggest questions about Dern as a potential superstar in mixed martial arts are actually quite related. There are few fighters who are better than Jacare on the ground and Gastelum will have to ensure he does not get taken down or gets up quickly if taken down. Cooper is an even 2-2 in the Octagon and is coming off a TKO of Angela Magana.
Lineker has been listed as a -255 favorite of Brian Kelleher at +215 and I think these odds are quite fair. Lineker has fought just once since, a unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera last October. Lineker's only loss in his past eight fights was to Dillashaw in a non-title bout by unanimous decision at UFC 207 at the end of 2016.
Kelleher, from the U.S., has just one loss in his past 10: to Vera in July 2017 by unanimous decision. This won't go into the championship rounds as Nunes will win by strikes.
Legends will open up the main card, as Lyoto Machida fights Vitor Belfort. Belfort has explosive power and is coming off a decision win over Nate Marquardt past year. He was supposed to fight Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 124 for his retirement bout but Hall had to pull out. Machida stopped a three-fight losing streak by defeating prospect Eryk Anders in his last bout. Machida was suspended 18 months from 2015-17 due to a positive drug test.
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